My husband and I were so excited about leasing a Leaf -- until we went to the Mid City Nissan Dealership in Chicago. I'm posting below the complaint e-mail we sent to the dealership last Thursday evening. They haven't yet bothered to respond. If anyone has dealers in the Chicagoland area to recommend, please let us know. This experience has made us more concerned about the Leaf, but we are still considering it.
I wanted to let you know that I remain interested in leasing a Nissan Leaf, but I am very disappointed with my experience at your dealership. I called in advance of coming in and was told that the dealership was leasing a Leaf for 36 months for $199 per month. I also saw the same deal on your website. I was encouraged to come into the dealership to discuss. When I arrived, my husband and I were asked if we had an appointment (although we had never been told that one was necessary). We were left to wait while a sales associate was located. The sales associate with whom we were paired (not yourself-- clearly this is an automated e-mail and not a personalized one) was very nice, but he was admittedly inexperienced and not knowledgeable about the Leaf. As a result, we were left waiting for significant periods of time while he looked up responses to our questions and checked on the financing information. We ultimately had to leave to go pick up our son from daycare and were left feeling as though the dealership did not value our time, even though my husband and I had both taken time off of work to go look at cars together.
Our real concern is with the information we were given about the cost of the Leaf. When we inquired about the cost of leasing the leaf, all of a sudden the deal changed from what was advertised on the dealership's website and the information I had been given on the phone that morning -- the cost changed to $199/month for a 24 month lease and $230 per month for a 36 month lease. In addition, we were unable to get any of the other legally mandated lease disclosure information nor any information in writing. We were told that someone would follow-up with us the next day with more information. Although you are ostensibly a "no pressure" dealership, we were told by someone who appeared to be a manager that the dealership could only guarantee us the deal until the end of the day and that you were not sure if Nissan would renew the deal. This is despite the indication on the website that the deal would be continuing until 1/2/14.
When you followed-up with us the next day to ask about our experience, you had no additional information so clearly our requests were not communicated. You did then (reluctantly it seems) call us back with the information we requested, but the deal was still substantively worse than what was on the website. It appeared that it didn't occur to the dealership that we had looked at your website, so you were trying to profit off of our ignorance. In addition, you indicated that there "may be" a discount with the DMV on license plates but apparently could not be bothered to check that information with the DMV before calling us.
On the other hand, when we went to the Toyota dealership in La Grange to inquire about leasing a Prius, we were matched with a sales associate very knowledgeable about the Prius and our financing options. We were given written information regarding the cost of the lease that we could review at home. Plus, the price for a lease of a 2013 Prius V was comparable to a 2013 Nissan Leaf, despite the Leaf's range limitations and smaller size. We were also given the option of rolling the sales tax into the lease price which your dealership never gave us. More importantly, we felt that we were at a dealership that valued us as customers.
While we appear young, both my husband and I are working professionals with good credit. We are new homeowners who are careful about our purchases, but we are serious about buying or leasing a vehicle and are trying to get the best value for our money. I am not sure why the dealership did not take us seriously. If we were treated like this before we purchased a vehicle, I can only guess how we would be treated after we signed on the bottom line.
We are continuing to car shop but do not plan on doing so at your dealership. I also plan on leaving a review on Google reviews or Yelp to warn other potential customers away from your establishment. Potential car purchasers (electric vehicle or not) deserve better.